Friday, March 4, 2016

It's Been A Minute...But Piper is Back!

Wow! I cannot believe how long it has been since my last post! Life has gotten so busy with work and Piper, that time just flies by. A lot has happened since my last post, way too much to cover in great detail, so to get myself back in the groove, I will only offer the highlights. Be thankful for that because this could be a long read if I didn't curb my enthusiasm.
Yep, Piper hasn't changed much!

Let's start with school...

Piper started school in October.  I chose to send her to a Montessori school so as not to stifle her ever growing uniqueness.  Yes, she is still quite the individual and her personality grows in the most intriguing and delightful ways every single day.  She began her Montessori education in the 18 months to 3-year-old room, mostly due to the fact she had never been to school before and they wanted her to have time to adjust to the routine.  Fast forward to just a few months January she was moved up to the 3 to 6-year-old room because of her vast vocabulary and highly advanced brain for her age.  She doesn't turn 3 until April.  At my first parent-teacher conference her teacher informed me that my little genius was ahead of most 4-5 year old kids in so many ways.  Her milestone marks and socialization marks were off the charts.  So yes, she is still one very smart cookie. Needless to say, she has a very proud mama!  It was nice to hear that whatever I'm doing at home, to keep doing it because Piper is amazing and they can tell she gets lots of attention and love. I cannot think of a better compliment than that.

First school friend b-day party 
Had to change her clothes...
same party but got soaked by the water feature!

Oh my goodness, I completely forgot to mention the Pumpkin Patch!  Piper's first week at preschool included a trip to the pumpkin patch for all the kiddos. She had an absolute blast playing in the corn pit, running through the hay maze, petting the baby animals, going on the hayride, and picking out her pumpkin, of course.

GIANT scarecrow!
Coming down the old tube slide
Playing in the corn pit!
Think she's having fun?
The perfect pumpkin!

And how I love the Montessori style of teaching!  Every single day I thank myself for choosing this route for Piper's education. If you don't know much about Montessori, I strongly suggest you look into it if you are concerned about where to send your child to school.  No, it's not an inexpensive choice, but I'd make any sacrifice in the world to send Piper to a great school. Obviously I value education since I still work in academia.  And no offense to anyone, but I think public schools are just awful.  Sure there may be some great teachers out there and some really great schools as well, but they are so few and far between.  Public schools are so regulated now that any great teacher is going to be stifled in their ability to educate the way they need and want to, and I don't think it's fair to teach to the lowest common denominator instead of challenging everyone to succeed.  And kids who don't make the grades should not be pushed through the system, a system that obviously doesn't care about them...that just dumbs down our society and all higher education institutions as well!  Yes, I like to buck the system as I cannot stand anyone controlling how my child learns based on a set standard that is supposed to be the same for everyone no matter how advanced they are or if they have a learning disability.

My favorite first school pic!
Montessori teaches to the child at the child's level. They advance when the child masters a skill and they don't push a child ahead before they are ready. Instead, they see every child as an individual with their own learning styles, needs, and speeds.  They also teach life skills as well, not just the standardized subjects.  Piper even has yoga every Friday and gets to wear slippers in the classroom for comfort and to reduce noise.  Seriously, I'm convinced it's the best method for teaching and learning that I have ever run across, and I say that in complete seriousness.  So please check out a Montessori school near you if you want a remarkable education tailored to your child's growth and development...and one that encourages individuality rather than discourages uniqueness. Little minds are full of wonderment and Montessori allows them to explore the world in the best possible way, the way that works best for the child at hand   Okay, I'll get off my education soapbox and move forward...or about clown college?

She just looks WAY to precious in a clown nose!
Let's backtrack all the way to Halloween!

What did your child go as this year?  Especially if you have a girl. Was it a princess? A Disney something or other?  Something girly and frilly? Well that's about par for the course with most young girls, but not my Piper!  She once again demonstrated her very unique self and went, by her own choice, as a zombie witch.  I kid you not!  She is absolutely obsessed with zombies, we even have blue ones that live on our ceiling, at least I think they're still there.  I'm not quite sure where the zombie obsession came from, but it hasn't waned since I last wrote.  But that's not her only unique interest...
Got to love the deadpan eyes!

Even spookier after trick or treating!
Now let's fast-forward to Christmastime.  Here is her top 6 list of must haves:

That's my girl!
1) Dinosaurs!  I have never met a child who loves dinosaurs more than Piper. She even loves zombie dinosaurs.  Once again, not sure where the craze stemmed from, but it keeps getting stronger.  The #1 must have all the time is dinosaurs.  I think I may have a future paleontologist on my hands.  As a matter of fact, we have a dinosaur egg hatching at home as I write.  Should only take 5-8 more days! And she just doesn't simply like dinosaurs, she knows all about them.  her teachers were shocked by her knowledge base of these magnificent creatures.  She prefers scientific books about them, not fictional children's books...and Dinosaur's a household name!

In a T-Rex mouth at the dinosaur show!
She loved "riding" the dinosaurs!
Triceratops rocks!
This T-Rex actually moved!
She even loves baby dinos!
2) Race cars and Tonka trucks!  Yes, she likes the "boy" toys.  I love that she doesn't stick to gender defined toys.  She's all over the place.  But she loves her Hotwheels and her Tonka trucks.  It took one car and one commercial on TV and she was hooked!  Santa made sure she made out like a bandit when it came to these items.

Riding her Bullseye horse...
Nana riding the other horse in the background!
3) Dragons...who doesn't love dragons? As a matter of fact, she just went shopping with me for her cousin's 2nd birthday, and of course she had to also get a toy.  What did she choose without doubt or a question has barely let go since? A two-headed dragon!  Yep, that's my girl!

Riding a flamingo!
Finally, riding a cow...
I had no idea I'd do a 'riding on' series!
4) Fighting warriors...good thing I found some awesome ones that came with dinosaurs!  She got the Imaginext T-Rex and it came with what look like Aztec styled warriors with bone armor.  There were also other dinosaurs in the collection that were battle-armored dinos with matching warriors.  Yep, I managed to combine two loves into one awesome-opossum-sauce gift! 

But time for a gift break to watch Piper do the Time Warp!

Don't you just love it?!?!?!

5) Little Live Pets mice...but it's not what you think.  She had actually requested a race track for her cars.  Instead she received these little critters since they technically run around on a track and I thought they were way cutter than a car race track.  In all, she received a changeable mice track system and 5 mice, two which each came with a "mouse house" that attaches to the tracks and has a wheel on one side for running.  She treats these mice as if they are real, loves and kisses on them all the time, and makes mommy rearrange the track at random.  I have to admit, they are pretty damn cute.  Speaking of live pets...

Yes, she likes to hold snakes!
And pet them!
And she's not afraid of alligators either!
So natural with all things in nature :)
She begged for me to let her get in with the big gators...
I had to draw a line on that one!
6) Doc McStuffins doctor kit...I brought a stethoscope home from work and she started using it to  check up on her toys.  It was a natural progression from there to get an entire kit including syringe, blood pressure cuff, otoscope, etc.  Yes, every toy gets checked regularly as well as the entire family and sometimes she tries to corner the kitters as well.  Speaking of kitters, we got a new cat since last time I was on here.  He's all grown up now, but I'll throw in a couple of his baby pics.  Piper just loves her Bo Kitty. Now back to Christmas...

The first time Piper met Bo!
Instant best friends!
I asked her if she wanted dolls or girly stuff, I got a flat no and a pout...she makes sure I know when she does not like the "choice" provided.  She's always saying she either likes or dislikes "that choice." She's very opinionated and knows exactly what she does and does not want/like, for the most part. Sometimes she's still a 2-year-old and says the opposite of what she wants just because on principle, everything is "no" until thought is put into the actual response.

Having fun with some goats!
She claimed this one and wouldn't let any other kids near it.
She shares more now.
Another sidebar here...speaking of her love of zombies as I mentioned earlier, a few weeks ago at school the teacher asked the students ideas for new games to play that were more calming and less rambunctious. Piper's response: let's play zombies!  Yep, that's my girl!

Okay, back to Christmas, again.  I will say that she does love some girly things.  She received quite a few My Little Ponies and she loves them!  It makes sense since I loved them as a little girl as well. She also received her first set of real wheels...a Frozen electric car she can drive herself.  It's way cool!  Now just to get her nerve up to actually drive it outdoors, and the weather to cooperate as well. I'm seriously hoping this month she will finally want to take it for a spin.  Yes, I will inform you all when the day happens.

Her new wheels!
Soon she'll burn rubber in her Frozen car!
Okay, now for other general news...

Piper still loves to be naked... a lot!  She has to have naked time every single day, and when she does, she goes totally spaztastic on me.  I have never met a child so happy to be in the buff.  I have so many side splitting videos of her naked while dancing and prancing around.   Don't worry, these do not get shared via social media, they are simply to embarrass her on her wedding day or any other time we all need a good laugh.  She finds them all hysterical, so at this point they have no effect on her but to make her want to take her clothes off some more.  I'm just hoping at this point she doesn't try and join a nudist colony when she grows up!

What? Me a nudist? Never!
It seems that every single day something changes about her.  I can never put my finger on it, but I swear she changes so often it's mind boggling, but it's in little, subtle ways.  It may be a new noise, a new expression, or a slight gleam in her eye, but it is always something.  I love anticipating what will be next, but I also hate that she's growing up so quickly.  She's a little sponge right now, so I attribute most of these changes to everyday learning an exploring the world around her.  And now that she is socializing at school with kids her age, I'm sure a lot of these subtle changes are borrowed from other kids in her class. I love it!

She recently discovered Sponge Bob...
and I had to make her some characters!
Mommy rocked the Squidward!
I know there is so much more to add in order to catch everyone up on all things Piper since last June, but I think it's time to stop and get this puppy out the door.  I could go on for another week and still not hit all the highlights.  For now, I just need to get this posted and then start regular posts again. I've always said that I would eventually just do short little posts to keep up with our constantly shifting world, that way I wouldn't feel the pressure do always play catch-up when it's been a month and I haven't written a thing.  This time, I think I'll stick to that plan or Piper won't have this digital memory book to look back on and read about her life as it unfolds, and that was always the purpose for this blog. It was always about recording her life for her to have when she got how I would love to have such a thing about my childhood!

Another B-day party at The Wonder Place!
I got smart this time...
no wet clothes the second time around!

Playing with her cousin Henry.
Tada!  Cutest kid ever or what?
So that's it.  I'm going to stop here and go dig up some pics and videos to insert (which by now you have already seen because I write before I insert pics and by the time you get to reading this sentence you will have seen all the not-yet posted pics that will be posted by the time you read this...follow that train of thought?).  I promise to start back posting regularly again. It makes me happy to do so and that's a good thing.
I mean seriously adorable!

See the dinosaur?
She got busted sneaking it home from school!
She still passes out in her food once in awhile!
Random pic of planting potatoes with Papa!
She no longer has the potty chair...but just love this pic!
Trying to be just makes her cuter!
So here's to you all for being patient over the last several months.  And please don't forget to vote, even though you're all probably out of practice doing so. It's still very easy, just follow the links/banners below!  You guys and gals rock!

Serious about some cake and a cake pop!

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